Boeing resumes Dreamliner testing

Six weeks after a fire halted flight testing of its 787 Dreamliner program, Boeing announces it is resuming flight testing.

Boeing announced today that it is resuming flight testing for its 787 Dreamliner program six weeks after an onboard fire halted the evaluation program and forced a test aircraft to land in Laredo, Texas.

Boeing said in a statement it returned test aircraft ZA004 to flight after it had installed an interim version of updated power distribution system software and completed a "rigorous set of reviews to confirm flight readiness." In the past few weeks, Boeing and supplier Hamilton Sundstrand completed initial verification of the changes with simulator and ground-based testing.

Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter told CNET that the company will announce a revised testing schedule possibly in January but only after it had evaluated results from the resumed tests. After it completes additional company-required tests Boeing will follow with the remaining certification testing needed to carry revenue passengers.

The November 9 fire, which was blamed on a failed power panel in the electronics bay, was only the latest incident in a long string of setbacks that have delayed the plane's delivery for more than three years. Though launch customer All Nippon Airways was originally set to receive its first aircraft in May 2008, the Dreamliner's first flight didn't occur until December 15 of last year.

Shares of Boeing closed at $65.06 at the end of trading today. That's up $0.45 or 0.70 percent from Wednesday's close.

On Dec. 15, 2009, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner took off for its first flight. Daniel Terdiman/CNET
 

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